Electrolytes are minerals that give off a negative charge called anions or a positive charge called cations. Electrolytes are calcium, sodium, potassium, chloride, phosphate, and magnesium. An imbalance is created without electrolytes in the form of body fluids, acid-base balance, or and minerals; electrolytes protect the body from diseases by maintaining a balance in the body. There are two types of imbalance to guard against: hyponatremia, which is low blood sodium causing cramping especially in the hands, legs, and toes. Hypernatremia occurs when the sodium in the blood is abnormally elevated.
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Incorporate proper hydration. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of fluid daily. This includes water, coffee, juices and other liquids. Either too much or too little fluid can result in an electrolyte imbalance. Don't drink so much liquid that you dilute the concentration of sodium in the blood or so little that the concentration is elevated.
Don't ignore the need to replace electrolytes after an illness. Replace any electrolytes that you loss during your illness, especially when it prevented you from eating properly, exercising, or taking vitamins and mineral. A sickness that interferes with mobility and takes away the appetite causes a gradual depletion of electrolytes, such as sodium. Sodium is essential in maintaining a fluid balance in the cells; it also keep your muscles in proper working order. Get a blood test from your doctor to confirm suspicions of an electrolyte loss; ask your doctor if it's OK to take an electrolyte supplement to restore balance.
Limit or avoid over the counter medications (OTC). These drugs deplete and/or reduce electrolytes in the body causing them to fall too low. A conditions that causes an imbalance in electrolytes, which results in poor health. Stop taking aspirins and other OTCs if you start to experience dizziness, cramping, or nausea. See your doctor right away to determine if these minerals are too low.
Don't drink too much or too little fluid when exercising or overexerting yourself. Talk to your doctor about an electrolyte supplements if your exercise routine is intense, such as that of a weightlifter, runner, or exercise instructor. Get regular checkups and follow your doctor's advice.
Eat a balanced and healthy diet or foods that build the body, such as, whole grains, legumes, fresh fruits and vegetable and salmon. A proper diet enhances the electrolytes and maintains proper functioning of the electrolytes, for instance pH balance, osmosis and minerals.
Take a good quality multivitamin and mineral to stay healthy and get the vitamins and mineral that your body needs to maintain an electrolyte balance. Make sure that sugar, starch, additives and corn are not among the ingredients in your supplements, as this is counterproductive. Take your vitamin daily with food to promote health. If you skip a day, get back on schedule, but don't double the dosage; many doctors consider vitamins medicine, so treat it like a medicine and take it as prescribed on the bottle.
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